Gibson’s new J-45 True Vintage captures the genuine spirit of Gibson’s most popular acoustic. Nicknamed “The Workhorse” for its simple, rock-solid construction, the new J-45 True Vintage—hand-made by Gibson Acoustic in Bozeman, Montana—offers the build, materials, looks, and tone of this legendary guitar as it was the day it was first introduced in 1942. This new model stays true to the original in every way, including the same round-shoulder dreadnought body design, with a top made from AA-grade Sitka spruce, custom vintage top bracing, and back and sides constructed from pattern-grade mahogany from Honduras.
Nickel Gotoh White Button Tuners
Gibson’s J-45 True Vintage features Gotoh’s nickel white button tuners. With a gear ratio of 15:1, these nickel Gotoh tuners deliver precision tuning in a durable housing that provides maximum protection for the gear and string post. All moving parts are cut for exact meshing, eliminating the possibility of slippage, with a special lubricant inside the gear box for smooth and accurate tuning stability.
The pickguard for the J-45 True Vintage is Gibson’s standard plain tortoise tear drop shape, which has been used on the J-45 since its introduction in 1942. As with all of Gibson’s pickguards, the coloring, inlay, and binding are all done by hand.
A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most ornamental elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking decorations on any acoustic guitar. The rosette on the J-45 True Vintage is a simple single-ring rosette consisting of three-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to the J-45 True Vintage.
Rosewood Fingerboard with Traditional Binding and Classic Dot Inlays
The fingerboard of Gibson’s J-45 Vintage is constructed from the highest grade Madagascar rosewood on earth, which is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled experts before it enters the Gibson factories. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The J-45’s classic dot inlays are made of genuine mother of pearl, and are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers. The fingerboard also sports traditional binding over the fret ends, which was a staple feature of many classic Gibson acoustics for many years.
Body Tonewoods (back, sides and top)
The top of the J-45 True Vintage is made from AA-grade Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are constructed from pattern grade Honduran mahogany, giving the J-45 True Vintage the same full, balanced expression, warm bass, and excellent projection that earned the original J-45 its much-heralded reputation. Selecting the right wood, and the formula to dry it out, are two of the most central procedures to Gibson’s guitar-building process. Beginning with its first catalog in 1903, Gibson has assured its customers that every guitar would be built using woods with “the most durable, elastic, and sonorous qualities,” and today’s guitars from Gibson Acoustic are no different.
Every acoustic guitar made by Gibson features hand-scalloped, radiused top bracing inside the body, a feature normally found only in limited run, hand-made guitars. By scalloping each brace by hand, the natural sound of the acoustic is focused more toward the center of the body, enhancing the instrument’s sound projection. The J-45 True Vintage features a variation of Gibson’s “X” bracing pattern situated behind the soundhole, with a set of tall and thin braces for the back, and scalloped tall and thin braces for the top. This legendary bracing design—exactly as it appeared in the first J-45 in 1942—delivers a balanced expression, with punchy, deep lows, warm mids, and clear, crisp highs. When pushed for more volume, the J-45 True Vintage projects a natural compression, which helps it blend nicely with any accompaniment.